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Scenes from Sugar Island

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These are the major players in my "Getting to Know Jack Series"

(Main characters are listed in quasi-chronological order.)

Jack Handler:

Jack is a good man, in his way. While it is true that once in a while he kills people, it can be argued that most (if not all) of his targets needed killing. Occasionally a somewhat sympathetic figure comes between Jack and his goal. When that happens, Jack’s goal comes first. I think the word that best sums up Jack’s persona might be “expeditor.” He is outcome driven—he makes things turn out the way he wants them to turn out.

For instance, if you were a single mom and a bully was stealing your kid’s lunch money, you could send “Uncle Jack” to school with little Billy. Uncle Jack would have a talk with the teachers and the principal. With Jack’s help, the problem would be solved. But I would not recommend that you ask him how he accomplished it. You might not like what he tells you—if he even responds.

Jack is faithful to his friends and a great father to his daughter. He is also a dangerous and tenacious adversary when situations require it.

Jack Handler began his career as a law enforcement officer. He married a beautiful woman (Beth) of Greek descent while working as a police officer in Chicago. She was a concert violinist and the love of his life. If you were to ask Jack about it, he would quickly tell you he married above himself. So, when bullets intended for him killed her, he admittedly grew bitter. Kate, their daughter, was just learning to walk when her mother was gunned down.

As a single father, Jack soon found that he needed to make more money than his job as a police officer paid. So he went back to college and obtained a degree in criminal justice. Soon he was promoted to the level of sergeant in the Chicago Police Homicide Division.

With the help of a friend, he then discovered that there was much more money to be earned in the private sector. At first he began moonlighting on private security jobs. Immediate success led him to take an early retirement and attain his private investigator license.

Because of his special talents (obtained as a former Army Ranger) and his intense dedication to problem solving, Jack’s services became highly sought after. While he did take on some of the more sketchy clients, he never accepted a project simply on the basis of financial gain—he always sought out the moral high ground. Unfortunately, sometimes that moral high ground morphed into quicksand.

Jack is now pushing sixty (from the downward side) and he has all the physical ailments common to a man of that age. While it is true that he remains in amazing physical condition, of late he has begun to sense his limitations.

His biggest concern recently has been an impending IRS audit. While he isn’t totally confident that it will turn out okay, he remains optimistic.

His problems stem from the purchase of half-interest in a bar in Chicago two decades earlier. His partner was one of his oldest and most trusted friends.

The principal reason he considered the investment in the first place was to create a cover for his private security business.

Many, if not most, of his clients insisted on paying him in cash or with some other untraceable commodity. At first he tried getting rid of the cash by paying all of his bills with it. But even though he meticulously avoided credit cards and checks, the cash continued to accumulate.

It wasn’t that he was in any sense averse to paying his fair share of taxes. The problem was that if he did deposit the cash into a checking account, and subsequently included it in his filings, he would then at some point be required to explain where it had come from.

He needed an acceptable method of laundering, and his buddy’s bar seemed perfect.

But it did not work out as planned. Four years ago the IRS decided to audit the bar, which consequently exposed his records into scrutiny.

Jack consulted with one of his old customers, a disbarred attorney/CPA, to see if this shady character could get the books straightened out enough for Jack to survive the audit and avoid federal prison.

The accountant knew exactly how Jack earned his money and that the sale of a few bottles of Jack Daniels had little to do with it.

Even though his business partner and the CPA talked a good game about legitimacy, Jack still agonized when thoughts of the audit stormed through his mind.

Kate Handler:

Kate, Jack’s daughter and a New York homicide detective, is introduced early and often in this series. Kate is beautiful. She has her mother’s olive complexion and green eyes. Her trim five-foot-eight frame, with her long auburn hair falling nicely on her broad shoulders, would seem more at home on the runway than in an interrogation room. But Kate is a seasoned New York homicide detective. In fact, she is thought by many to be on the fast track to the top—thanks in part to the unwavering support of her soon-to-retire boss, Captain Spencer.

Of course, her career was not hindered by her background in law. Graduating Summa Cum Laude from Notre Dame at the age of twenty-one, she went on to Notre Dame Law School. She passed the Illinois Bar Exam immediately upon receiving her JD, and accepted a position at one of Chicago’s most prestigious criminal law firms. While her future looked bright as a courtroom attorney, she hated defending “sleazebags.”

One Saturday morning she called her father and invited him to meet her at what she knew to be the coffee house he most fancied. It was there, over a couple espressos, that she asked him what he thought about her taking a position with the New York Police Department. She was shocked when he immediately gave his blessing. “Kitty,” he said, “you’re a smart girl. I totally trust your judgment. You have to go where your heart leads. Just promise me one thing. Guarantee me that you will put me up whenever I want to visit. After all, you are my favorite daughter.”

To this Kate replied with a chuckle, “Dad, I’m your only daughter. And you will always be welcome.”

In Murder on Sugar Island (Sugar), Jack and Kate team up to solve the murder of Alex Garos, Jack’s brother-in-law. This book takes place on Sugar Island, which is located in the northern part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (just east of Sault Ste. Marie, MI).

Because Kate was Garos’ only blood relative living in the U.S., he named her in his will to inherit all of his estate. This included one of the most prestigious pieces of real estate on the island—the Sugar Island Resort.

Reg:

In Jack and the New York Death Mask (Death Mask) Jack is recruited by his best friend, Reg (Reginald Black), to do a job without either man having any knowledge as to what that job might entail. Jack, out of loyalty to his friend, accepted the offer. The contract was ostensibly to assassinate a sitting president. However, instead of assisting the plot, Jack and Reg worked to thwart it. Most of this story takes place in New York City, but there are scenes in DC, Chicago, and Upstate New York. Reg is frequently mentioned throughout the series, as are Pam Black, and Allison Fulbright. Pam Black is Reg’s wife (he was shot at the end of Death Mask), and Allison is a former first lady. It was Allison who contracted Reg and Jack to assassinate the sitting president.

Allison:

Allison is a former first lady (with presidential aspirations of her own), and Jack’s primary antagonist throughout the series. She fears him enough not to do him or his family physical harm, but she and Jack are not friends. She seems to poke her nose into Jack’s business just enough to be a major annoyance.

Roger Minsk:

Roger is a member of the Secret Service, and a very good friend to Jack. Roger is also friendly with Bob Fulbright, Allison’s husband, and a former president.

Red:

This main character is introduced in Sugar. Red is a redheaded thirteen-year-old boy who, besides being orphaned, cannot speak. It turned out that Red was actually the love child of Alex (Jack’s brother-in-law) and his office manager. So, Alex not only leaves his Sugar Island resort to Kate, he also leaves his Sugar Island son for her to care for.

Red has a number of outstanding characteristics, first and foremost among them—his innate ability to take care of himself in all situations. When his mother and her husband were killed in a fire, Red chose to live on his own instead of submitting to placement in foster care.

During the warmer months, he lived in a hut he had pieced together from parts of abandoned homes, barns, and cottages, and he worked at Garos’ resort on Sugar Island. In the winter, he would take up residence in empty fishing cottages along the river.

Red’s second outstanding characteristic is his loyalty. When put to the test, Red would rather sacrifice his life than see his friends hurt. In Sugar, Red works together with Jack and Kate to solve the mystery behind the killing of Jack’s brother-in-law (and Red’s biological father) Alex Garos.

The third thing about Red that makes him stand out is his inability to speak. As the result of a traumatic event in his life, his voice box was damaged, resulting in his disability. Before Jack and Kate entered his life, Red communicated only through an improvised sign system, and various grunts.

When Kate introduced him to a cell phone and texting, Red’s life changed dramatically.

Robby:

Robby is Red’s best friend. When his parents are murdered, Robby moves into the Handler home and becomes a “brother” to Red.

Buddy:

Buddy is Red’s Golden Retriever.

Bill Green:

One other character of significance introduced in Sugar is Bill Green, the knowledgeable police officer who first appears in Joey’s coffee shop. He also assumes a major role in subsequent books of the series, after he becomes sheriff of Chippewa County.

Captain Spencer:

Captain Spencer is Kate’s boss in New York. The captain has been planning his retirement for a long time, but has not yet been able to pull the trigger. Kate is his protégé, and he almost seems to fear leaving the department until her career is fully developed.

Paul Martin and Jill Talbot:

Two new characters do emerge in Sugar Island Girl, Missing in Paris (Missing). They are Paul Martin and Jill Talbot. They do not appear in subsequent stories.

Legend:

Legend is one of the main characters in the sixth book of the series, Wealthy Street Murders (Wealthy Street). In this story, Jack and Kate work with Red, Robby, and Legend to solve a series of murders. Wrapped up in a rug and left for dead at the end of Wealthy Street, with Buddy’s help he lives to play an important role in Ghosts.

Mrs. Fletcher:

Mrs. Fletcher, one of the caretakers at Kate’s resort on Sugar Island, progressively plays a more prominent role as an occasional care-provider for the two boys. And, of course, she becomes embroiled in the intrigue.

Sheriff Griffen:

 The sheriff first appears in Murders in Strangmoor Bog (Strangmoor). He is sheriff of Schoolcraft County, which includes Strangmoor Bog, and Seney Wildlife Preserve.

Angel and her mother Millie:

In Strangmoor, the seventh and last book in the “Getting to know Jack” series, two new main characters are introduced: Angel and Millie Cox.

Angel, a precocious fun-loving redhead (with a penchant for using big words), quickly melts the hearts of Red and Robby, and becomes an integral part of the Handler saga. You will definitely see Angel and Millie in Ghosts, and throughout the rest of the “Jack’s Justice” series as well.

If after having read Ghosts you do not want to wait for me to complete the second book in the new series, you might want to delve into the pages of the first Jack Handler series—“Getting to Know Jack.” It comprises seven books, most of which are set in Michigan—many in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Only the first book lacks any reference to the beautiful state of Michigan. That book, Jack, a political thriller, is set in Chicago, New York City, Upstate New York, and DC. Even though Jack is the first Jack Handler book, many of my readers recommend starting with “Murder on Sugar Island.” Again, as with all my books, adequate backstory is provided inside each of the individual titles.

Here is a list of those books in order (with Amazon links):

Jack and the New York Death Mask (Jack): http://amzn.to/MVpAEd

Murder on Sugar Island (Sugar): http://amzn.to/1u66DBG

Superior Peril (Peril): http://amzn.to/LAQnEU

Superior Intrigue (Intrigue): http://amzn.to/1jvjNSi

Sugar Island Girl Missing in Paris (Missing): http://amzn.to/1g5c66e

Wealthy Street Murders (Wealthy): http://amzn.to/1mb6NQy

Murders in Strangmoor Bog (Strangmoor): http://amzn.to/1IEUPxX

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  Michael Carrier's "Getting to Know Jack Series"
 
  Jack and the
New York
Death Mask
(Jan. 2013)
Murder on
Sugar Island
(Aug. 2013)
Superior
Peril
(Nov. 2013)
Superior
Intrigue
(Aug. 2014)
 
   
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$19.95 Print
$9.99 eBook
Free on KU
Buy Now
$19.95 Print
$9.99 eBook
Free on KU
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$19.95 Print
$9.99 eBook
Free on KU
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$19.99 Print
$9.99 eBook

Free on KU
 
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  Sugar Island
Girl, Missing in Paris

(Aug. 2014)
Wealthy Street
Murders

(June 2014)
Murders in
Strangmoor
Bog

(June 2015)
Watch for New
Jack Handler
Series in 2016
"Jack's Justice"
 
   
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$19.95 Print
$9.99 eBook
Free on KU
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$19.95 Print
$9.99 eBook
Free on KU
Buy Now
$19.95 Print
$9.99 eBook

Free on KU
Available in
Early 2016
 
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Meet the Jack Handler cast!

Click here to read what people are saying about Michael Carrier's latest books.

 - --Mario are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in a good thriller, and it kept me guessing to the very end. Fantastic read with an awesome detective duo. By KatieWhat people are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in a good thriller, and it kept me guessing to the very end. Fantastic read with an awesome detective duo. By KatieWhat people are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in a good thriller, and it kept me guessing to the very end. Fantastic read with an awesome detective duo. By Katie--Mario are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in a good thriller, and it kept me guessing to the very end. Fantastic read with an awesome detective duo. By KatieWhat people are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in a good thriller, and it kept me guessing to the very end. Fantastic read with an awesome detective duo. By KatieWhat people are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in